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Numéro de publicationUS5020895 A
Type de publicationOctroi
Numéro de demandeUS 07/462,602
Date de publication4 juin 1991
Date de dépôt9 janv. 1990
Date de priorité10 janv. 1989
État de paiement des fraisPayé
Autre référence de publicationDE3900467A1, DE3900467C2
Numéro de publication07462602, 462602, US 5020895 A, US 5020895A, US-A-5020895, US5020895 A, US5020895A
InventeursAdolf Giesen, Martin Bea, Stefan Borik
Cessionnaire d'origineAdolf Giesen, Martin Bea, Stefan Borik
Exporter la citationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
Liens externes: USPTO, Cession USPTO, Espacenet
High power lasers
US 5020895 A
Résumé
For power lasers, the shape of the mirror is an essential factor for the quality of the mode. In addition, a power laser usually has a plurality of mirrors. The shape of the mirrors may change during operation, for example due to heating. According to the invention, a hollow space is provided on the rear side of the mirror and pressure is applied to this hollow space to a greater or lesser degree, so that the geometry of the mirror changes under its influence.
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Revendications(20)
What is claimed is:
1. In an apparatus for a mirror head of high power lasers, comprising
a metallic mirror having a reflective front side with an exposed central region, a rear side and an outer rim,
a first pressure-bearing surface for the front side near the outer rim of the mirror,
a second pressure-bearing surface for the rear side near the outer rim of the mirror, and
a fluid line arrangement in a region of the mirror head remote from the mirror,
the improvement wherein:
(a) the mirror is a disc that is thin in relation to the diameter of its exposed central area,
(b) a hollow space is provided in the mirror head on the rear side of the mirror so that the central region of the mirror is free to bend perpendicular to the front side, both toward the front side and toward the rear side, and
(c) the hollow space communicates with the fluid line arrangement.
2. An apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein the mirror is of a copper alloy and its reflective front side is polished.
3. An apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein the rear side of the mirror presents a single limiting wall of the hollow space, and a seal is provided in the region of the rim of the mirror.
4. An apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein the fluid line arrangement comprises at least one fluid feed line arrangement and at least one fluid discharge line arrangement.
5. An apparatus as claimed in claim 4, wherein the fluid feed line arrangement has a mouth in a central region of the rear side of the mirror, and a mouth of the fluid discharge line arrangement lies in the region of an edge of the hollow space.
6. An apparatus as claimed in claim 4, wherein a plurality of fluid discharge line arrangements are provided, and the mouths of the fluid discharge line arrangements are arranged at regular angles.
7. An apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein the fluid is water
8. An apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein the elasticity of the mirror has an absolute value at which the center of the mirror is bent out several deca-micrometers in response to application of maximum fluid pressure available in the fluid line arrangement.
9. An apparatus as claimed in claim 5, wherein the fluid feed line arrangements are connected to a pressure generator to which a pressure-setting device is connected and to a cooling device.
10. An apparatus as claimed in claim 9, comprising a pressure display device connected to the pressure generator.
11. An apparatus as claimed in claim 10, wherein the pressure display device is calibrated in mirror bending-state values.
12. An apparatus as claimed in claim 11, wherein the mirror bending-state values are related to the convex bending of the mirror when positive pressure is applied by the pressure generator.
13. An apparatus as claimed in claim 11, wherein the mirror bending-state values are the focal length of the mirror.
14. An apparatus as claimed in claim 9, wherein the pressure generator generates positive pressure.
15. An apparatus as claimed in claim 14, wherein the positive pressure is in the bar range.
16. A high power laser having a plurality of deflection mirrors wherein at least one deflection mirror is of a first design that comprises
a metallic mirror having a reflective front side with an exposed central region, a rear side and an outer rim,
a first pressure-bearing surface for the front side near the outer rim of the mirror,
a second pressure-bearing surface for the rear side near the outer rim of the mirror; and
a fluid line arrangement in a region of the mirror head remote from the mirror, wherein:
(a) the mirror is a disc that is thin in relation to the diameter of its exposed central area,
(b) a hollow space is provided in the mirror head on the rear side of the mirror so that the central region of the mirror is free to bend perpendicular to the front side, both toward the front side and toward the rear side, and
(c) the hollow space communicates with the fluid arrangement,
and other deflection mirrors are of a different design.
17. A high power laser as claimed in claim 16, wherein only one of the deflection mirrors is of the first design.
18. An apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein the mirror has a planar cross section with a varying thickness, at least in the central region of the mirror.
19. An apparatus as claimed in claim 9 wherein the pressure generator generates negative pressure.
20. In an apparatus for a mirror head of high power lasers, comprising
a metallic mirror having a reflective front side with an exposed central region, a rear side and an outer rim,
a first pressure-bearing surface for the front side near the outer rim of the mirror,
a second pressure-bearing surface for the rear side near the outer rim of the mirror,
a fluid line arrangement in a region of the mirror head remote from the mirror,
and the improvement wherein:
(a) the mirror is a disc that is thin in relation to the diameter of its exposed central area,
(b) a hollow space is provided in the mirror head on the rear side of the mirror so that the central region of the mirror is free to bond perpendicular to the front side, both toward the front side and toward the rear side,
(c) the hollow space communicates with the fluid line arrangement, and
(d) the relation of the diameter of the exposed central region of the mirror to its thickness is 7.5:2±30%.
Description

The invention relates to an apparatus for a mirror head of high power lasers.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

With high-power lasers, there has long been the desire for the TEM OO mode. The mirrors play a part in the possible distortion of the beam. The surface of the mirrors deforms, inter alia, due to the fact that they heat up. It is true that the mirrors are cooled. Nevertheless, the cooling cannot be ideal. In addition, if a multiplicity of mirrors are used, the cooling may differ, so that not only is there deformation of the mirrors but different deformation. The constructural measures to separate the cooling fluid from the laser gas are enormous.

OBJECT AND STATEMENT OF THE INVENTION

The object of the invention is to provide an apparatus with which the laser beam can be optimized when its shape changes in an unfavorable way. This correction is also to be possible during the operation of the laser. Apparatus of the type described include a metallic mirror having a reflective front side with an expose central region, a rear side and an outer rim. A first pressure-bearing surface is on the front side near the outer rim of the mirror, and a second pressure-bearing surface is on the rear side near the outer rim of the mirror. A fluid line arrangement is provided in a region of the mirror head remote from the mirror.

The object of the invention is achieved by the following features:

(a) the mirror is a disc that is thin in relation to the diameter of its exposed central area,

(b) a hollow space is provided in the mirror head on the rear side of the mirror, and

(c) the hollow space communicates with the fluid line arrangement. This enables one top produce convex mirrors by positive pressure or concave mirrors by negative pressure. The additional expenditure is minimal.

The invention also includes the following advantageous features:

The mirror is of a copper alloy and its reflective front side is polished. This achieves the effect that a mirror with good thermal conductivity is obtained which can be bent comparatively easily. If it is not vapor-deposited, for example with a gold layer, the latter is subjected to, neither tensile stress nor compressive stress.

The relation of the diameter of the exposed central region of the mirror to its thickness is 7.5:2±30%. this achieves the effect of a sufficiently thin mirror with sufficiently high surface, so that the pressure which has to be generated by the bending is technically readily controllable.

The rear side of the mirror presents a single limiting wall of the hollow space, and a seal is provided in the region of the rim of the mirror. This saves any intermediate elements. The pressure presses directly on the entire exposed rear side, and it is physically also easier to predict how the mirror will deform. The seal lies in the clamping region of the mirror and does not disturb the behavior of the mirror. In addition, this also minimizes the complexity of the seal.

The fluid line arrangement comprises at least one fluid feed line arrangement and at least one fluid discharge line arrangement. These features not only allow the mirror to be bent convexly or concavely, but also allow it to be cooled. Such fluids exist in any case in the field of high-power lasers, such as for example water, oil or the like. No special fluid reservoir is needed and also no additional lines, pressure generators of another type or the like.

The fluid feed line arrangement has a mouth in a central region of the rear side of the mirror, and a mouth of the fluid discharge line arrangement lies in the region of an edge of the hollow space. As a result, the region of the mirror which heats up most is cooled best, the assumption which should be made here being that about 1.5% of the laser power remains in the mirror as lost power and heats it up.

A plurality of fluid discharge line arrangements are provided, and the mouths of the fluid discharge line arrangements are arranged at regular angles. As a result, a clearly arranged, regular flow pattern of the fluid is obtained, the effect of which is predictable.

The fluid is water. Water is a particularly simple fluid, which at the same time is not compressible and nevertheless ecologically harmless.

The elasticity of the mirror has an absolute value at which the center of the mirror bends by amounts in the lower decamicrometer range when a full fluid pressure is applied. In trials it has been found that mirrors with these characteristic values can be used excellently.

The fluid feed line arrangements are connected to a pressure generator to which a pressure-setting device is connected and to a cooling device. These features allow pressure generation, cooling and pressure setting in a single cell.

A pressure display device is connected to the pressure generator. This feature provides a reproducible display for the convex bending or concave bending of the mirror.

The pressure display device is calibrated in mirror bending-state values. This feature saves conversion calculations.

The mirror bending-state values are related to the convex bending of the mirror when positive pressure is applied by the pressure generator. This provides a representative measure of the positive or negative convex bending.

The mirror bending-state values are the focal length of the mirror. This provides a measure which can be used well for optically operating instruments.

The pressure generator generates negative and/or positive pressure. This allows both a diverging mirror and a converging mirror to be operated. In the case of "and", all of the conditions between these two types can be produced infinitely variably. During the development of a laser apparatus, usually several test apparatus are built and tested in detail. If it is observed during such tests that the correcting mirror has to be adjusted in a convex manner only (of varying degrees), it is sufficient to produce only a positive pressure. Thus, the pressure generator is of simple design. The same is true when the correcting mirror has to be adjusted in a concave manner only. The pressure generator then has to produce only a negative pressure.

These two simple alternative designs are meant by the "or" term.

However, during laser operation deterioration of the laser beam may require a compensation range of the correcting mirror from convex to concave, and the pressure generator must be able to produce both positive and negative pressures.

It should be understood that "and" does not mean "the same time".

A pressure generator of the known gear pump type for example, may be switched from positive to negative pressure just by changing the direction of the rotation of its motor. Other types of pressure generators may require switching valves for interchanginng their inlet and outlet pipes.

The positive pressure is in the bar range. This makes for technically, easily controllable pressures, so that no inordinate equipment expenditure is necessary.

In a laser having a plurality of deflection mirrors, certain mirrors are of a different design than according to the invention This allows some of the deflection mirrors to be produced according to the old design.

Only one of the mirrors is designed according to the invention. This minimizes the costs further and allows, if appropriate, the invention to be retrofitted to existing lasers without otherwise disturbing the laser set-up.

The thickness of the mirror is not constant, at least in its central region. This allows forms of distortion of the mirror to be achieved which differ from those which occur with mirrors of the same material thickness. The correcting mirror has to compensate for defects caused by the other mirrors due to the fact that they are not exactly plane. If one or more mirrors cause a slight dispersion of the laser beam, the correcting mirror must focus the beam by the same amount.

The necessary shape of bending curvature of the correcting mirror is a clear consequence of the shape deformations which occur in the other mirrors and, therefore, in the laser beam. This curvature is well known under the law of optics.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

A preferred exemplary embodiment of the invention is now described. In the drawings:

FIG. 1 shows a radial cross-section through a mirror head, with diagrammatic circuitry,

FIG. 2 shows a diagrammatic representation of the laser path, and

FIG. 3 shows a cross-section through a mirror of inconstant thickness.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

A wall 11 of a flange 12, otherwise shown broken away, has a through-bore 14 coaxial to the geometrical longitudinal axis 13. A mirror head 16 is seated in the said bore. A housing 17 is circular-cylindrical to the longitudinal axis 13 and extends gas-tightly in the through-bore 14. Screwed onto its left-hand end face 18, which lies coaxially and radially, by screws 21 is a holding ring 19.

The holding ring 19 has an outwardly directed bevel 22. A mirror 23 has a front side 24 and a rear side 26. The front side 24 is polished. Its marginal region 27 is covered by the holding ring 19 apart from 5 cm.

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Classifications
Classification aux États-Unis359/845, 359/847, 359/846, 372/107
Classification internationaleG02B7/18, B23K26/06, G02B26/08, H01S3/04, H01S3/08, H01S3/086
Classification coopérativeG02B26/0825, G02B7/1815, H01S3/0401
Classification européenneG02B26/08M2, G02B7/18T1, H01S3/04B
Événements juridiques
DateCodeÉvénementDescription
4 déc. 2002FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 12
15 janv. 2002CCCertificate of correction
3 déc. 1998FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 8
13 sept. 1994FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 4